Pret puts vegan croissants on the menu
Its brand new product uses margarine and sunflower oil to recreate the buttery, light texture of the traditional French pastry.
Pret sells more than 20m croissants every year, and following months of development and customer requests, its food development team created a vegan recipe for the breakfast staple, traditionally made with 55% French butter.
Costing from £1.70, the “very berry” croissant – filled with a jam-style berry compote and dusted with sugar – will go on sale in all 389 branches from 7 January. It will join the traditional plain, almond, jam and chocolate versions on the bakery counters by Pret’s tills.
Hannah Dolan, Pret’s global head of food innovation, said the new product would appeal to customers participating in Veganuary – embracing a plant-based diet for the whole of January – as well as those seeking to reduce their dairy consumption or keen to try something new.
“Over the past couple of years we’ve worked hard to introduce new vegan and veggie options,” she said. “We knew from talking to our customers that it was time to bring more choices to the breakfast menu. The very berry croissant is just the beginning – we are looking forward to sharing more plant-based innovations with customers in 2020.”
In the UK retail sector, vegan croissants have typically only been available from small independent cafes or niche brands. In November La Boulangère launched a range of vegan croissants and pain au chocolats made with shea butter. Individually wrapped to be warmed at home, they are sold by Sainsbury’s, Ocado and Morrisons for £2.75 a bag.
Other popular pastry snacks have already had successful transformations. On Thursday, the UK’s largest bakery chain Greggs unveiled a meat-free version of its popular “steak bake”, a hotly-anticipated oven-mate to its vegan sausage roll which went on sale in January 2019.
In October, Pret announced that it was giving its most popular sandwiches a high-profile vegan makeover. The new “chuna” mayo baguette (with chick peas replacing tuna), VLT (with roasted shiitake mushroom “rashers” in place of bacon), eggless mayo baguette and hoisin mushroom wrap went on sale initially in its five standalone Veggie Pret shops. However, if they prove very popular with customers, they will be rolled out to the main chain too.
In a further fillip for customers seeking plant-based options, Pret will announce that from next Tuesday, it is dropping its charge for dairy milk alternatives: with barista-prepared hot and cold drinks, oat and rice-coconut milk will be offered free alongside soya milk.